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From The Vault: Tony takes Richmond International Raceway
Relive the 2002 Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond International Raceway where Tony Stewart ran away with the win. The win at RIR was Tony's third in only seven starts at the Virginia short track.
Double Numbers: Is the 11 or 22 the team to beat at Richmond International Raceway ?
Marty Snider and Chris Rice give you their NASCAR Fantasy Live picks for the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway .
Hot Lap: Point-of-view look at Richmond International Raceway
NASCAR's pace car driver, Brett Bodine, takes a spin around Richmond International Raceway to showcase the unique configuration the 0.75-mile track, and shares some tips on what to look for in the Toyota Owners 400.
Stewart completes tire test at Indy; Edwards, more join
Four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers concluded a two-day Goodyear tire test Wednesday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway . For three-time series champion Tony Stewart , it wrapped up what he said would be the final tire test of his career. Stewart joined last weekend's winner Carl Edwards , Aric Almirola and rookie Chase Elliott among drivers involved at the Brickyard, helping Goodyear officials determine the proper tire compound for the Sprint Cup Series' annual visit on July 24. Stewart was fresh from his season debut at Richmond International Raceway , where he placed 19th after missing eight races with a broken back suffered in an all-terrain vehicle incident Jan. 31. As was the case Sunday at Richmond, Stewart was in good spirits as he eased back into full-time racing in what is scheduled to be his final NASCAR season as a driver. RELATED: Stewart eager for more after Richmond return "I'm actually having fun up here," said Stewart, an Indiana native. "This is my last tire test as a driver, so I've been having fun working with the Goodyear guys and it's been kind of fun because three of the main guys here when I started here are at this test, which they don't always get to come to the same test together. It's kind of nice to be working with them one last time. "It's nice to be home and I think any chance, any time that we've had an opportunity to go test here, I always jumped on it. I don't like to go test -- it's boring to me -- but I've always liked any chance I got to come up to Indy and test. That's something I always wanted to do." Stewart's next NASCAR appearance at the venerable Speedway is scheduled this summer, when he'll compete in what will likely be his final Indianapolis race. The 44-year-old Stewart said he's had less chance to reminisce about his memories of the home-state track than to get accustomed to the reduced-downforce aerodynamics package that made its debut this year. "It's probably more just fresh on my mind of being back in the car. I haven't driven with this low-downforce package other than just Richmond last weekend, which you aren't really going to see a big effect of it. Being here and seeing how much different it feels, it's fun to kind of get acclimated again and that's the big thing that I wanted to leave here with was just feeling like that I was up to speed with what the aero package was and knowing what the feel is like." Edwards has won the last two Sprint Cup races, including last Sunday's bump-and-run past Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch to prevail at Richmond. Edwards said he hadn't had a chance to speak with Busch about the incident with his quick transition from the Virginia short track to Indianapolis before heading to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. RELATED: JGR orders? Edwards-Busch bump say it isn't so Edwards' more immediate focus was to provide feedback to Goodyear engineers after a battery of tests at the historic 2.5-mile track. "There's a lot of stuff to learn here," Edwards said. "This track, it's difficult for a number of reasons, but really for me, just the weather today versus yesterday, it's hard to determine how much of it is the weather. As the track changes, the Goodyear rubber lays down, it changes. The challenge for us is as we make these changes with the car to try to separate the track changes and the temperature changes from the actual changes to the car. "So it's a pretty difficult place to test and to figure things out, but that kind of makes it fun. We've got my crew chief and my team of engineers over there, and I mean they are going through every … I mean, they're really over there thinking and working hard, and those kind of challenges are fun."
Edwards: 'Kyle and I haven't talked' since Richmond
RELATED: No team orders for Edwards, Busch " Vote: Clean or dirty move? TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Following last weekend's thrilling finish to the Sprint Cup series race at Richmond International Raceway in which Carl Edwards bumped teammate Kyle Busch from the lead to pick up his second straight victory, the lingering question in the days leading up to this weekend's events at Talladega Superspeedway was if the Joe Gibbs Racing duo would bury the hatchet. According to Edwards, the two drivers have yet to speak to each other. "No, Kyle and I have not had a chance to talk yet," Edwards said Friday at Talladega Superspeedway . "I was testing at ( Indianapolis Motor Speedway ) for two days. I missed the meetings. This weekend will require us to all get together as a group and work well together. I'm sure we'll have a chance to talk." Busch confirmed Sunday at Talladega during the pre-race telecast that he and Edwards still have yet to clear the air, replying to FOX Sports analyst Kenny Wallace 's question about the situation with a simple, "No." Much was made of the move that saw Edwards nudge his teammate Busch, the reigning series champion, up the track in Turns 3 and 4 on the final lap to beat him by .675 seconds on the Virginia short track. RELATED: Cain: Edwards' move is what racing is all about Was it clean? Was it dirty? Should it matter that they're teammates? Should it matter that they're both already virtually locked into the Chase for the Sprint Cup by virtue of their early-season wins? (A NASCAR.com poll revealed that 76 percent of our readers deemed it a clean, racing move, for what it's worth.) But it all boils down to how the pair -- who've been racing against each other full-time for over a decade, but have been teammates for just over a year -- will handle things moving forward, both on and off the track. Busch was understandably terse in his post-race press conference at Richmond on Sunday, deflecting questions about the incident and instead noting how good of a car his team gave him. The two-time 2016 race winner has yet to offer any comment since. RELATED: Recap all of Edwards' wins " All of Busch's wins
Richmond preview: Hamlin remains hometown favorite
RELATED: See full lineup " Race day schedule RICHMOND, Va. -- Denny Hamlin is unquestionably the "hometown favorite" whenever the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rolls into Richmond International Raceway . This week the Chesterfield, Virginia , native arrives in town having earned the esteemed title of 2016 Daytona 500 winner. So it seems hard to believe that Hamlin's last win at his home track was in 2010. He is an odds-on bet for every Richmond race weekend, with a pole win in 2006 and 2008 and race victories in 2009 and 2010. And he is fast this weekend. "I love coming back here and love the race track," Hamlin, 35, said Friday after opening practice. "We got to come here and test about a month or so ago and had a good test. Our cars ran really good here in the fall, which is encouraging and even through the tire change and the aero change, I was pretty happy with it. "We're looking forward to it. We haven't always run the best here over the last few years, but we're starting to get that back a little bit and really for me it's obviously a whole lot of motivation to come here and run well." Hamlin will start his No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota fifth in Sunday's Toyota Owners 400 (1 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), after the grid was set based on opening practice speeds because Friday's qualifying session was rained out. Hamlin was 11th fastest in Saturday's final practice and 14th best for a 10-consecutive lap average. A good showing here would be encouraging for this year's Daytona 500 winner. Since earning that career-defining trophy and Chase-making victory at Daytona, Hamlin has only two other top-10 finishes -- a pair of third-place finishes back-to-back at Phoenix International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway . It's been a rocky road of late, with a crash at Martinsville Speedway that gave Hamlin a 39th-place finish and then a mid-pack, 20th-place showing at last week's Bristol Motor Speedway . "I'd say trying to find ourselves is kind of the word I keep thinking of, but over the last few weeks we've tried a lot of out of the box things," Hamlin said of his season. Sometimes it can hurt momentum. "... We're here in April now and we've still got months until the playoffs start so I think it's an opportunity for us to work on things and try to get better. Ultimately, the checks don't get written until the end of the year so we need to make sure we're good when it really, really counts." Acknowledging there have been less-than-steller runs in recent weeks, Hamlin still seemed completely comfortable with the direction of the team and the luxury of being able to think and plan for the postseason because of the Daytona win. And Hamlin's Joe Gibbs Racing team is certainly showing the way. Three of Gibbs' four drivers have wins already. Reigning Sprint Cup champion Kyle Busch has two and Carl Edwards won just last week. Hamlin has only one top-10 in his last six races here, but he does not appear too worried. On the contrary, he's in a first-time position of winning right out of the gate and having a chance to experiment and fine-tune for the championship run. "It's a tough balance because you treat tracks that are in the Chase differently than you would tracks that are not," Hamlin explained. "Texas, for instance, is in the Chase so we tried something, a direction that we were going to see if that direction was where we need to be when we go back there in the Chase. It was not the right direction, we know that, but the other races, I think you kind of know whether you're going to have a shot to win or not and you adjust accordingly. If you don't, you're more willing to try some things to learn, but you're always out there every race to try to win the race for sure. "There's some weekends you have a better opportunity than others. We know that our program is very strong on all the race tracks right now so we would definitely like to log some more wins before the race starts because ultimately the further you get into the summer, you want to start building some momentum and get some good things going heading into the Chase."
GarageCam sees Smoke fire it up at Richmond
Join NASCAR.com's Matthew Dillner as he takes a walk around the Sprint Cup Series garage at Richmond International Raceway and talks to Casey Mears, David Ragan and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on the day of Tony Stewart's return.
Stergios outduels Alfalla in Texas
PJ Stergios (ineX Racing Team) became the first multiple-race winner in the 2016 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series Powered by iRacing by passing Slip Angle Motorsports' Ray Alfalla for the lead with 15 laps to go at Texas Motor Speedway . The two were clearly the class of the field, leading a combined 148 of 167 laps, but Stergios got the best of Alfalla on the long run to the checkers. The battle for third came down to the wire with Nicholas Johnston (HPM) holding-off Jake Stergios by less than two-tenths of a second. Logan Clampitt, making his series debut, finished an impressive fifth. Stergios trailed Alfalla by around half a second after the two made their final pit stops under green but quickly closed to the leader's bumper in only a handful of laps. Stergios hounded the former series champion for nearly 20 laps, waiting for a rare mistake. His chance finally materialized when a lapped car on fresher tires passed Alfalla on the outside entering Turn Three. The pass forced Alfalla to compromise his entry, enabling Stergios to draw alongside down the front straightaway. The pair battled side-by-side for a couple of laps before Stergios cleared Alfalla and began pulling away. "The last stint was pretty crazy with guys on all sorts of different strategies, so well done by everyone for keeping it going for so long despite some very close moments," Stergios said. Alfalla took control of the race early on, needing just six laps to assume the lead from his outside pole grid position. However, the race was not without incident for Alfalla. On Lap 82 he brought his car to pit road for routine service and, since he pitted early in the window, found himself in heavy traffic after returning to the track. Not even a lap later, Dylan Duval got loose and slammed the wall off Turn 4, forcing Alfalla to dive to the grass in avoidance. Fortunately for Alfalla the off-road excursion did not damage his car, but a caution for another crash four laps later robbed him of valuable track position. While Alfalla had unlapped himself after his green-flag stop, having fresh tires was so critical he pitted again under the caution and restarted eleventh on Lap 92. Alfalla had little trouble with traffic and by Lap 126 he was already back in the runner-up spot behind Stergios. Knowing passing Stergios on track would prove difficult, Alfalla chose to pit a lap earlier than his rival. While that enabled Alfalla to take the lead, in the end he could not hold it. Stergios' win broke the tie with Alfalla atop the championship standings. Stergios now leads by three points over Alfalla as the two have begun distancing themselves from the rest of the field. Jake Stergios is third, 21 points back of his brother. He is followed closely by Allen Boes, who is only a single point back in fourth after an eighth place effort at Texas. Chris Overland still holds fifth despite finishing 37th in the Lone Star state, but he is now 58 points behind and just two in front of Andrew Fayash III, who is in the running for "biggest surprise" of the sim racing season thus far. Next up on the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series schedule are the tight confines of Richmond International Raceway . The .75-mile short track is the only venue on the schedule less than a mile in length and will force teams to build a much different setup than the last two races. With the 2016 season quickly turning into the PJ Stergios vs. Alfalla show at the front, can any other sim racers challenge their dominance? The uniqueness of Richmond may play into the field's hands but Stergios and Alfalla will be bringing their A-games to the virtual Virginia track -- as usual. Who will find their way to Victory Lane? Find out in two weeks on iRacingLive!
NASCAR TV schedule: Aug. 31-Sept. 6
RELATED: See the full weekend schedule " NBC Sports Live Extra All times ET Monday, August 31 3 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 (re-air), FOX Sports 1 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 2 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2 Tuesday, Sept. 1 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 2:30 p.m., Empty Cup: Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Title (re-air), FOX Sports 1 3 p.m., A Perfect Storm: The 1979 Daytona 500 (re-air), FOX Sports 1 4 p.m., Being: Stewart-Haas Racing (re-air), FOX Sports 1 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 Wednesday, Sept. 2 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 Thursday, Sept. 3 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 4:30 p.m., NASCAR America: The States of NASCAR (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 7 p.m., NASCAR K&N Pro Series East: Virginia International Raceway (tape), NBCSN 12:30 a.m., NASCAR K&N Pro Series East: Virginia International Raceway (re-air), NBCSN Friday, Sept. 4 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 11 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, NBCSN 1 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series practice, NBCSN 2 p.m., NASCAR K&N Pro Series East: Virginia International Raceway (re-air), NBCSN 3 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, NBCSN 4:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, NBCSN 6:30 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 9:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice (re-air), NBCSN Saturday, Sept. 5 10 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice (re-air), NBCSN 11:30 a.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN 1 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 1:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN 3 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Countdown to Green, NBC 3:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200, NBC 11:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying (re-air), NBCSN Sunday, Sept. 6 11 a.m., Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge: Virginia International Raceway (tape), FOX Sports 1 1 p.m., 1979 Daytona 500 (re-air), FOX Sports 1 1:30 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay, FOX Sports 1 5 p.m., NASCAR America Sunday, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Countdown to Green, NBCSN 7 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 , NBC 11 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN Midnight, NASCAR Victory Lane, FOX Sports 1 2:30 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lane (re-air), FOX Sports 1 &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;nbsp;
IMSA introduces new title sponsor, 2016 schedules
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- A State of the Sport presentation drew a capacity crowd of industry stakeholders and media to the Osthoff Resort on Saturday evening, when IMSA announced a new entitlement sponsor for its top series, a 10-year extension of partnerships with TUDOR Watch USA and Rolex Watch USA, and 2016 schedules for its top two series. The biggest news was the introduction of WeatherTech as the entitlement partner in a multiyear agreement for IMSA's top series, which now will be called the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship effective November 1, 2015. TUDOR Watch USA moves from entitlement partner to "Official Timepiece of IMSA" in a 10-year extension of its partnership with the sanctioning body. Rolex Watch USA, announced an extension of 10 years of its partnership as an official sponsor at Sebring International Raceway , after announcing a 10-year extension of its entitlement sponsorship of the Rolex 24 At Daytona earlier this year. In addition to the major partnership news, 2016 schedules for both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge also were unveiled. The entitlement partnership was made by WeatherTech Founder and CEO David MacNeil, and his son, Cooper MacNeil, who drives a Porsche in the GT Daytona class of what will become the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. IMSA executives pointed to WeatherTech's advertising and marketing prowess as a key component to the entitlement partnership. "I am proud to announce that WeatherTech will become the entitlement partner in 2016 for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship," said David MacNeil. "We want this to be the new golden era of sport car racing in America, and I want WeatherTech to be a big part of it. "It is my intention to use our marketing horsepower to elevate the awareness of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship to the general public. We want to increase our fan base for the betterment of the teams, the sponsors and finally the drivers." "WeatherTech is the perfect choice to serve as our new entitlement partner as we further expand the marketing activation and exposure of what now will be known as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship," added IMSA CEO Ed Bennett. "David MacNeil's enthusiasm and personal passion for our sport, along with his proven success at growing the WeatherTech brand through brilliant, high-quality manufacturing and aggressive product marketing, will pay dividends for all involved." The 2016 WeatherTech Championship schedule will include a total of 12 events and opens with the 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona in Daytona Beach, Florida on Jan. 30-31. It will be the first event in the new Daytona International Speedway motorsports stadium following the completion of the $400 million DAYTONA Rising project. The WeatherTech Championship schedule will be anchored by four Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup events, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in Sebring, Florida on March 19, the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen in Watkins Glen, New York on July 3 and the season-ending Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia on Oct. 1. Other WeatherTech Championship events include the Grand Prix of Long Beach (California) on April 16, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California on May 1, Detroit's Belle Isle on June 4, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario on July 10, Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut on July 23, Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on Aug. 7, VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia on Aug. 21 and Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas on Sept. 17. The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge will run as companion events to the WeatherTech Championship at all 2016 races except for Long Beach and Detroit.